Knock On Wood (Riders of Tyr #6)

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Awkward Invitations

Wood

“So, it’s done clean and we did a good deed. Well done,” Tor says at the Thing and he nods at me.

It’s been two days since that reunion in the garage, two days since Iris dragged Tamie in her arms, two days since they finally found each other. And two days since I last seen her. Two days away from those gray-blue that look cleverly around.

“Is Tamie getting used to shit?” Tor asks mostly Rage.

Iris took Tamie at their house and that’s where she is staying for now. Which means that she is basically off limits for me. I doubt Rage would want me there despite what we shared and I don’t think it’s a good idea that I visit her.

I did what needed to be done. I took her back to her sister and now I need to stay the fuck away and let her have a fucking life.

Easier said than done, though. I have been dreaming of her. It all starts like the nightmares that plague me every night. But then she appears, like she did when we shared a room, she smiles that faint, ghost smile of hers and opens her arms. And she is naked, naked for me and ready. I go to her, I sink into her embrace and I rest my head on her warm chest. And then, I take her, I have her, I-

“Wood?”

Fuck, I adjust in my jeans discreetly and turn to Daniel.

“Yeah, brother?”

“You sure we are on the clear?”

“We did rough some people up in Austin but we are a long way from home. We had no cuts, I made sure our tattoos never showed and never asked specifically about Tamie.”

“OK,” Daniel nods at Tor and the King stands.

Thing over.”

We all pour out the room and I light a cigarette to keep my nerves. Rage passes by me and looks at me with an enigmatic look, runs his fingers through his hair and curses.

I frown. If I had done something to upset the Hellhound, I am going to need my wits about me. So I eye him as he goes down the bar talking to himself. When I approach the bar to get a beer, he growls and comes up to me. Shit.

Did Tamie tell him that I kissed her? Did she tell him that I took her in my arms and slept with her there? Cause fucked-up as it was I am not regretting shit. That kiss was the best of my life and that night was the only calm one I’ve had in years. If Rage wants to kill me for it, then so be it. I am mostly dead inside anyway. Tamie, my stupid brain offers but I ignore it.

“Wood.” Rage stands before me and the whole bar stops.

“Rage.” I coil my body for the attack to come.

“Fuck fuck fuck,” Rage growls and everyone holds their breaths.

“Rage?”

“Are you doing fuck tonight?”

What?

“What?”

Well, Iris… Iris wants to thank you.

“It’s OK.” I suddenly feel awkward. “No need.”

“She says that you… Goddamn it! Come for a fucking dinner tonight!

My jaw drops. It does and my cigarette drops along with it. Did the Hellhound just invite me for dinner at his place tonight?

“I…” I start.

“Yeah, I don’t fucking want you there either but Iris says it’s the right thing to do. And I want to do right by her. So you are coming for a fucking dinner.”

His eyes are drilling into mine and I see the battle he is in. He truly feels like shit for asking me but if Iris asked for it, he simply can’t say no even if that means acting like a normal human being to the man he hates.

“OK,” I simply say.

“8.”

“Sure.”

That’s all Rage says and he pushes the door before walking out. I look around at the bar to find everyone looking at me with the same stunned expression. Except for Tor that is smirking and is shaking his head.

Bror, if he knows you slept with Tamie, that is your last fucking supper.”

I give him the finger and then I look back at the closed door. Two things cross my mind right now. One is what the hell am I going to bring to the Hellhound’s house as a housewarming gift. And the second, most urgent, the one that makes me feel on fire is that I am going to see her again.

**

It’s 8 and I am pulling into Rage’s yard. I pull the stand and just sit on my bike looking at the house like an idiot. I have seen it from the outside those dark days I rode past to torture myself seeing the house Iris built with the man she chose. And here I am now, longing to see not Iris but her sister. Thoroughly an asshole, I chastise myself.

I have pep-talked my stupid side all day. I will go in, eat the goddamn food, keep my interaction to the minimum and get the hell out of there as fast as I can. That’s all that’s going to happen tonight.

I get off the bike and take the little basket I have tied in the back. The fact that I don’t want to be here cause it will make matters worse doesn’t mean that I have to be rude and ungrateful. Iris is an angel and she doesn’t need to have an asshole of a guest tonight. I go up the stairs to stand at the door. I sigh to compose my raging heart and I knock on the door.

“Rage, can you get that?” I hear Iris.

After a few seconds, Rage opens the door with a whoosh, as if expecting an army of enemies behind it. I gulp. I may be a trained soldier that has walked through Hell and back but Rage fucking scares me.

“Uh, hi,” I try.

Rage takes me all in, still barring the door. His nostrils flare and his fist is tight. This is going to end sooner than I expected.

“Wood!” Iris appears behind him with a wide smile but Rage still keeps his offensive stance. “Babe, will you let Wood in?”

“No.”

“Babe,” Iris smiles at me and then focuses on Rage. “We have talked about this.”

“He was going to claim you, baby girl.”

Awkward, I swallow and look away.

“Rage, he saved my sister,” Iris’s tone turns stricter. “She would be away from me and I would be still thinking that she is dead. I would be sad and in pain.

Rage loses his aggressive stance and turns all of his attention to Iris which is a relief. Anything to be away from the Hellhound’s scope. Then he takes her in his arms, lifting her up to bring her to his lips and takes her mouth in his.

Great, now I am the third wheel to the most loving couple amongst the Riders. This was a fucking mistake and I should have never come. Still, I can’t fail but notice that seeing Rage and Iris in their love world doesn’t hurt as much. It’s still annoying though.

I am actually considering leaving the basket on the floor and getting the hell out of here, going to the bar, grab a rotter and vent some pent-up energy before I explode cause I have been on the edge ever since Rage basically threatened me to come here tonight. And then I hear a voice.

“Iris?”

That’s her, that’s her voice, that still timid voice that has haunted me since she first talked to me back in the hellhole she was kept. Tamie.

I look over the hugging couple and I see her coming down from the stairs. She is even more beautiful than I remember, her dark hair down her shoulders and that body of hers barely contained in the simple blue dress she has on. It’s long but I have seen her naked body, I know what lies beneath that fabric that looks like her eyes so much.

And when she takes one step down, the dress is lifted and I see that is wearing the boots I got for her. I go back to that shop when she followed me around, staying close, so close I could smell her natural, female scent. Damn, damn, damn, I can’t believe I am getting excited because I am looking at biker boots.

Tamie’s look lands on me and her cheeks blush instantly. I love the effect I have on her cause for a moment there I thought she has forgotten about me. But she hasn’t. I see it on the way her breath is caught and the smile that blooms lightly on her full lips.

“Wood,” she almost whispers.

“Tamie,” I smile at her. “You look… good.”

“You look good, too,” she blushes even more.

We just stand there, looking at each other and a smile that comes up to my lips. Not those fake smiles I put on when others inspect me too closely. A true freaking smile just cause a girl is blushing for me.

"Uhm,” Iris coughs and draws my attention. “Would you like to come in?”

I look upon Tamie once more that is glancing down as she takes the final steps. Oh, I do want to come in alright, my mind readily offers and I take a step forth.

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